Wednesday, September 02, 2015

How many shoe-shiners does it take to commemorate the end of a war?

Almost 300, apparently.  Chief Executive CY Leung is leading a delegation of 296 handpicked Hongkongers to attend tomorrow's ceremony in Beijing at which the Chinese government will celebrate 70 years since the end of the Second World War and Japan's invasion of China by having large numbers of soldiers march around.  Presumably we - the Hong Kong public - are paying for this trip.

The list of those invited shows that most of them are the usual United Front suspects - from the Quat Doctor to the odious Robert Chow.  Some of them are multi-millionaires like James Tien and Allan Zeman who could easily afford to pay for their own tickets, though I doubt if they will be asked to.  A token 1% of the group is made up of representatives of the watered-down end of the pan-democratic spectrum, but the party as a whole is hardly a cross-section of Hong Kong society.

How many of these people, I wonder, bothered to attend the recent events marking Hong Kong's liberation from Japanese occupation - once a public holiday here - and paying tribute to those who fought and died for Hong Kong?  And how many of the few surviving warriors who fought for Hong Kong were invited to the event in Beijing? It would be nice to have a Hong Kong government that paid attention to Hong Kong occasionally, instead of being entirely focused on sucking up to the central government.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Does their compulsive urge to destroy beautiful vegetation stem from some deep-rooted childhood trauma over being forced to eat up their spinach or broccoli?

[First frame adapted from the delightful Calvin & Hobbes comic strips.]

Monday, August 17, 2015

Labour's Leadership Dilemma

It's ironic that while the remnants of the Blair/Brown New Labour leadership in Britain continue to label Jeremy Corbyn unelectable, ordinary Labour voters - and many who had given up on the party but are now flocking back to it - are voting for him in droves in the Party's leadership election, making him the clear favourite to win.

The essence of "New Labour" was the concept that only by abandoning almost everything it stood for could the Labour Party get elected to power.  That worked for a while - in part because of the charisma and enthusiasm of the then young Tony Blair - but resulted in an administration that was effectively a more Euro-friendly Thatcher Light - continuing to turn nationalised industries over to greedy businessmen at the expense of ordinary consumers, removing in the name of deregulation anything that protected people from unscrupulous corporations, and slavishly following America's catastrophic foreign ventures.

These policies certainly attracted a sizable number of middle-class voters away from the Tories, but they alienated many traditional Labour voters who held fast to the Party's principles - particularly in Scotland, where the generally left-wing Scottish National Party succeeded in capturing much of Labour's electoral base.  Now with the LibDems as a credible alternative effectively wiped out by their ill-judged alliance with the previous Tory government, with Tony Blair and his former ministers facing probable intense criticism in the long-delayed Chilcot report on their role in launching the disastrous Iraq War, with UKIP nibbling away at the Tory vote on the other end of the political spectrum, and with the 2008 banking crisis and the subsequent Eurozone crisis making the "New World Order" appear positively frayed at the seams, the time may just be right for an "Old Labour" revival.

I've been out of the UK so long that I've lost my right to vote there, but I shall be watching developments with interest.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

More fiddling

CY Leung plays Nero again with a big announcement at his last LegCo appearance - primed by an obviously staged question from DAB leader Starry Lee.  I'm as much in favour of clean streets as the next man, but doesn't the government have more important things to do something about?  Their problem is that genuine solutions to the real problems would require offending either their Beijing overlords or the tycoons who control our economy, so they are forced to fall back on sideshows instead to give the appearance of doing something.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Private Beach Art

Our Private Beach by American artist Barbara Ann Whalley.  You can see another of her paintings here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Booby Crap

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen announced today that, having taken legal advice following the recent conviction of a female protester for assaulting a police officer with her breast, the Hong Kong government now plans to prosecute every woman in Hong Kong for unlawful possession of offensive weapons.  Exceptions will however be made for girls below the age of puberty and women who have undergone a double mastectomy.

"It is true that we may need to construct many more jails to accommodate three million additional prisoners," said Yuen, "but we cannot afford to have half the population walking the streets freely with these fearsome devices attached to them.  This is a small price to pay to protect the safety of our gallant policemen."